Grenades thrown at Bobi Wine’s home
Explosive devices, thought to be grenades, were thrown early on Monday at the homes of two prominent Ugandan MPs who have spoken out against plans to remove the presidential age limit.
Opposition leader Kizza Besigye claimed the government was behind the attacks.
Dr Besigye, who was the flagbearer for the Forum for Democratic Change (FDC), said the attacks were meant to scare opposition politicians and instil fear among Ugandans pushing for the retention of the age limit.
“It is a move by Mr (Yoweri) Museveni’s government to intimidate the MPs and the whole population not to join the campaign against lifting of the presidential age limit. However, this shouldn’t scare them,” said Dr Besigye.
He spoke after police said they were investigating circumstances under which the homes of two legislators were attacked with grenades Monday morning, days after another opposition MP survived a similar attack.
Musician-turned-lawmaker Robert Kyagulanyi —popularly known as Bobi Wine — and fellow opposition MP Allan Ssewanyana said grenades were thrown at their homes at night.
“There were three explosives last night,” said Mr Kyagulanyi, pointing to the shattered glass in his son’s bedroom window. He said that was the second such attack in recent days.
“Two days ago, when the first two hand grenades were thrown, I called the police but the police did not show up,” said Mr Kyagulanyi. “My family is living in fear.”
Mr Ssewanyana said he was also attacked in the night.
“People have thrown a grenade at my home. I need rescue,” said Mr Ssewanyana in a Facebook post early Monday alongside pictures of plastic and metal fragments.
BARRED FROM PARLIAMENT
The two are among 24 MPs barred from Parliament following angry brawls last week, when a legislator from the ruling party National Resistance Movement (NRM) proposed a bill seeking to remove the constitutional age limit for presidential candidates.
The current curbs would prevent President Museveni, in charge for the past three decades, from running for a sixth consecutive term in 2021. The President is 73 while the law sets the limit to vie at 75, meaning he would be 77 then.
Mr Kyagulanyi also said he had received death threats “on an almost a daily basis” since he and other opposition MPs attempted to block the bill in Parliament.
Outside Parliament, student protests have been met by soldiers and police using teargas and firing rubber bullets at them.
Kampala police spokesman Emilian Kayima said the “similar” incidents were being investigated, with early indications that “factory-made hand grenades with less shattering effects” than military ones had been used.
However, government spokesman Ofwono Opondo blamed the opposition for the explosions, saying on Twitter that they were caused by “flash bang grenades” and were intended as “scare tactics to frame (the government)”.
The controversial bill is due for the first reading later Tuesday.
Last week, two hand grenades were hurled and exploded at the home of Rubaga North MP Moses Kasibante, an hour after policemen drove him to the residence. Mr Kasibante said the grenades smashed windows.
The MPs was in detention after being violently plucked from Parliament by a combined force of police and Special Forces Brigade during the age limit fracas.